Half of the US thinks Trump is a racist - poll

Long Lunch 05/07/2018
Photo credit: Getty.

Half of American voters think their President is a racist.

new poll, undertaken by Quinnipiac University, found 47-49 percent believe Donald Trump is a racist. And 58 percent do not approve of the way he's handling immigration - in particular the child detention camps on the southern border.

Views of Mr Trump's opinions on race split along party lines - 86 percent of Democrats said he is a racist, while 86 percent of Republicans said he isn't. Independents narrowly said he is, 50-44.

Poll assistant director Tim Malloy said the stunning result will be a "punch to the gut" for Mr Trump.

"When it comes to the separation of immigrant kids from their parents, American voters are clearly appalled."

Mr Malloy told Wendyl Nissen on RadioLIVE that President Trump is not "terribly popular".

“We called every state, tens of thousands of people. It’s a survey of the entire country. So it’s a very thorough screening of what people are thinking," Mr Malloy said.

Sixty percent said it was a violation of human rights, and 83 percent said the White House has a responsibility to reunite the children with their parents.

But the majority of voters - 60 percent - said the opposing Democrats were more interested in "exploiting the nation's immigration issue for political gain" than in solving the problem.

The most common words used by voters to describe Mr Trump's immigration policy were sad, terrible, bad, wrong, disgusted and horrible.

"In fact, the 18 words most frequently used are all negative," the university said in a statement.

Mr Trump in the past has claimed to be the "least racist person", despite a history of controversial statements on race issues. In 2017 after a white supremacist drove a car into a crowd of protesters, killing one, Mr Trump said there "very fine people on both sides" of the conflict.

He has also linked high immigration to crime, reportedly said Caribbean and African migrants come from "shithole countries" and for years promoted a false conspiracy theory that Barack Obama was born in Kenya. In the 1970s, Mr Trump's company was sued by the US Department of Justice for discriminating against black renters.

Nine in 10 voters in the Quinnipiac poll also said civility has gone out the window in US politics of late. Nearly half blamed Mr Trump, while 37 percent blamed the Democrats.

Mr Trump's approval rating has also declined to 40 percent, with 55 percent disapproving - reversing a recent lift in his popularity.

Listen to the full interview with Tim Malloy above.

The Long Lunch with Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.